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There is a mental strain that occurs for some students during their second semester. Two weeks of classes pass… and it somehow feels like we are struggling already. 

When this feeling occurs, it is necessary to step back and revisit the resources that allowed students to become successful during the previous semester. 

Generally, most students would agree that the beginning of an academic year begins with a learning curve. Time, guidance, and patience are needed to complete the full workload of a singular university semester. During the beginning of the semester, students learn how to turn in assignments on-time, how to access professor and student guidance, and how to give themselves patience when mistakes are made that can be amended. Near the end of the semester, students reach a place of comfort when these resources are implemented.

I remember ‘failing’ my first journalism quiz. I was so held up by the thought of it being my first collegiate exam, that I forgot my textbook. The assignment was open-note, and I’m still laughing about it today. I gave myself room for error and patience as I learned the expected rules for assignments and quizzes for this particular class. From that point on, I set virtual reminders on quiz days to bring my textbook and went to office hours to earn extra credit. By the end of the semester, my grade improved significantly and the end of the semester was a breeze. This is one example of remembering that mistakes are allowed to happen and we need to give ourselves time to learn how to turn in assignments, how to ask our professors for help (in my case, taking advantage of extra credit), and to give ourselves patience when mistakes are made. 

 For most students, less time to complete assignments, less guidance from professors, and less self-patience seems to just happen when the course work is easier to comprehend and a learning schedule has been developed. Then, winter or summer break comes along and students return home; forgetting about the difficulties of starting the semester. 

It is during the returning semester that students want the same energy and ease that occurred during the end of the preceding semester. This is when the mental strain comes into play. As the new semester comes along, and the year feels too long, the tears are just under the surface, and the fear that the coursework may be too much comes into our subconscious thoughts… Remember that this is a learning curve.

Students need to allow themselves the opportunity to fall back into the resources that provided time, guidance, and patience. To give themselves a moment to relearn and readjust their schedules in order to reach that place of comfort found in the previous semester. 

For me, I found university resources like office hours or study sessions to be helpful when completing my coursework. Other times, learning to ask for help from fellow classmates and friends helped me break down the coursework into smaller chunks. And finally, self-care and self-love keeps our body and minds functioning, so we are able to ask for help and complete our coursework.  

Good luck, and keep moving forward!

Today is going to be a good day ladies! Welcome to Maya's account as she begins her journey at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Maya's goal is to work within columnist writing to analyze concepts for the community of students and families of Arizona.
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